Jean Czarkowski

Candidate for Ocean County Freeholder

Jean is a life-long resident of Ocean County and lives in Toms River.  She is a single parent proud of her two young adult children who attend Ocean County Community College.  Both of Jean’s parents were teachers and she attributes their influence and growing up with an aunt with Downs Syndrome, an autistic brother and a sister who had to overcome many problems with the development of her empathy and sense of social responsibility.

Jean is a graduate of Georgian Court University.  After earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Monmouth University she set out on a diverse career of advocacy for children, adults and families with special needs.  She served patients who were facing end of life, mental health and substance abuse problems and children who were abused, and developed services for students in alternative education settings.  She was also an adjunct professor at Kean University in Sociology, Criminal Justice and Education.

She also trained as a critical incident responder, served on the NJ Traumatic Loss Coalition, developed outpatient programs and emergency psychiatric services for youth and worked on various suicide prevention initiatives.  During the attacks of 9/11, she was a mental health responder tending to the emotional support needs of families and survivors.

For the past 17 years, Jean has worked as an elementary school counselor in Old Bridge NJ and developed several nationally recognized programs and services for her students.  As a strong advocate for social justice and inclusion, her work currently focuses on school climate, character education and positive behavioral support and intervention.  Jean is the anti-bullying specialist for her school.  She also established a network of colleges and universities that developed early college awareness programs for elementary school children.   

Ocean County is Jean’s home.  She wants to offer her time, talent and skills to improve services to the people of the county.  Jean is skillful at building highly successful programs, often with little or no budget.  She knows how to keep costs down, use data to make decisions and implement interventions.  She believes that her comprehensive vision for pulling resources together will assure that goals are met and networks are created that address critical issues such as the opioid crisis, economic insecurity, transportation, infrastructure, community safety, housing, the environment, small business development and social mobility.  Jean has the expertise and vision to forge coalitions and believes that as a community we have the ability to set aside our differences and cooperate to solve our problems.

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